Taste of Chicago iPhone app a feast of information

Thousands of sweaty people flood Grant Park every year to try “taster” portions of delectable treats from restaurants all over the Chicago area during the Taste of Chicago and attend free live entertainment featuring musical acts; this year, R&B legends Bell Biv Devoe and Salt-n-Pepa are featured. Of course, there’s also the annual Fourth of July fireworks. It’s a veritable love fest of all things fried for 10 days in Chicago, and this year, there is an app for that!

With the free Taste of Chicago app, you can plan your eating extravaganza by perusing the available restaurateurs and locating them on the map before you arrive. However, you have to switch back and forth between the food section and the map section to match up the numbers to the booths. Use the GPS function to figure out where you are at any given moment, and find the nearest escape route in case things get a little intense with the heat and crowd.

The app also offers a complete schedule of entertainment at the Taste, such as appearances by celebrity chefs Giadi de Laurentiis and Mario Batali, and live musical performances. A “Now!” function even tells you what is going on at the exact moment when you are there. You can even create an agenda of events and email it to yourself.

If you find yourself without a lighter during your favorite concert, check out the “Encore” function of the app.

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